Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that will make the killing of a police dog or horse a class E felony, effective Nov. 1.
Law enforcement agencies have increasingly relied on these animals to assist with crime solving and rescue operations, and their specialized abilities are a result of extensive training that requires a great deal of time and resources, according to a news release about the legislation.
The governor also signed into law a bill that will allow police departments to waive the requirement that a police dog must be confined for 10 days after biting a person while in the course of official duties.
The new law will allow law enforcement to return the dog to duty after receiving a waiver from a local health department as long as the dog has up-to-date rabies vaccinations.